Undergoing Colon Surgery
There are quite a few reasons why a person needs to undergo colon surgery. With th e advances technology has brought to the medical field, it is generally a good alternative to get a person healthy again. They may be affected by colon cancer, have bleeding in the intestines, suffer from severe irritable bowel syndrome, find their large bowel obstructed, or have a large volume of polyps that need to be removed so that they don’t become cancerous.
The procedure for colon surgery will depend on what is wrong with the patient. Colon resection is the most common. There are two types of it performed – open surgery and laparoscopic. Open surgery used to be the way to go but it is rapidly getting replaced by the laparoscopic. With the open surgery, an incision is made in the abdomen close to the area where the colon needs to be repaired.
Cuts are made to remove the section that has been damaged. Then stitches are put into place to place the remaining ends of the colon together. The risk is higher when the part of the colon to be removed is close to any of the vital organs. Generally the procedure can be completed in three hours or less.
With the laparoscopic procedure the surgeon is able to see inside of the colon area that is in question. Several small incisions are made so that the diseased area can be removed. The incisions are small enough that there are no stitches necessary. This process is less invasive and so the patient is able to recover from it faster. It can also be completed in just an hour or two.
With all of the red tape out there with insurance companies, you will need to do quite a bit before you go in for the procedure though. It is very likely your doctor will have to fill out paperwork verifying that they procedure is indeed necessary. You want to make sure it has been pre-approved before you schedule the date for the surgery to take place.
Make sure you pay close attention to what your doctor tells you to do before the surgery. It is vital that your colon is empty. The process of getting that done isn’t always fun, but it does need to be done. You will be placed on a liquid diet for a couple of days before the surgery. You will also be given a drink that induces diarrhea. This will help to ensure all of the materials are out of the colon. Don’t be surprised if you are required to get an enema as well.
Some individuals are in quite a bit of pain after the anesthetic wears off. Others don’t seem to be very uncomfortable. It often depends on your individual pain tolerance. It also depends on where the colon had to be removed and how much damage it had sustained. It is very important to keep the area clean and dry. If you don’t an infection can result that will hinder your recovery process.
Some signs that you do have an infection present include a fever, the pain gets worse, the incision is swollen and tender, or you see any discharge coming from the bandaged area. Most medical professionals will have a patient follow up two weeks after they have been released from the hospital to ensure everything is healing up as it should. Any signs of an infection though should be immediately reported to your doctor. It is important to give your body time to fully recover after colon surgery.
It is going to take a while for it to start working like it should. Most hospitals require the patient to stay for a couple of days. They need to monitor for signs of infection. They also require the patient to have at least one bowel movement before they are discharged. On average a person will spend four days in the hospital before going home to complete their recovery in more familiar surroundings.
Approximately half a million people in the United States undergo some form of colon surgery each year. The techniques for such procedures continue to improve as well. That means the risk for the patients is dropping while the quality of the results continues to increase. If you are told by medical professionals that colon surgery is a good option for you then you may want to pursue it.